Chiefs loss a microcosm of season that’s quickly slipping away - KCTV5

Chiefs loss a microcosm of season that’s quickly slipping away

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(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (FOOTBALLKC) – Much like the start of the 2017 regular season, the start of Sunday’s Chiefs-Jets game was almost too good to be true.

Then much like the current state of the regular season, Kansas City took a rapid, unforeseen fall from grace.

For the game’s first five minutes, the Chiefs looked unstoppable.

Just like Kansas City’s first five games. Alex Smith was a perfect 5-5 with 110 yards, Travis Kelce was well on his way to 100 yards receiving and the defense forced a three and out without a single yard gained.

Then what looked to be smooth sailing to victory, quickly changed as rough waters took ahold of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s side of the ball.

The Chiefs finished with 31 points scored in just 17 minutes, production that should have been good enough to win. Then again, the Chiefs started 5-0. A start that should be good enough to win the division.

However, with just four games remaining, that playoff fate is very much in doubt. Just as the defense can be largely to blame for the team’s collapse in New York, the defense’s lack of pressure and inability to force turnovers can be largely to blame for the team’s overall season collapse.

The loss of safety Eric Berry cannot be understated, as the secondary has consistently faltered in the middle of the field and the defense as a whole has not shown the toughness from past seasons.

The loss of the team’s leader was perhaps never more clear than after the Jets’ game winning touchdown. Star cornerback Marcus Peters, no doubt frustrated with the turn of events and penalty called, lost complete composure and threw the referee flag into the stands before he exited the field.

Kansas City committed eight penalties on the day and the defense allowed 13 third down conversions, both a sign of the team’s lack of focus, awareness and ability to finish. The multiple penalties on the defense’s final possession is the epitome of the team losing control of the game and season.

Still, even after throwing for over 300 yards and more than three touchdowns for the fourth time this year, fan skepticism will still be placed on the shoulders quarterback Alex Smith, whether that’s right or wrong. Just like the start of the year, Smith played great in every facet, pushing the ball down the field, taking care of the ball and using his legs as a weapon.

It still wasn’t enough. The game will go down as one of the best in Smith’s career, but also one that ended in defeat. Will the season’s tale follow suit? As one of the best of Smith’s career, but ending in disappointment?

Barring a 180-degree turnaround, the entire Chiefs season is on track for a fast start and disappointing end, just like Sunday. Kansas City has lost six of seven games, with only one loss coming against a team with a record above .500.

The loss in New York has already been inked in the score book, but somehow, the Chiefs still control their own destiny for what the rest of the season has in store.

Kansas City returns home for the next three games, two of which come against the Chargers and Raiders.

The team’s fast start and lackluster division have kept the Chiefs alive, but the margin for error is now gone. And they have four games left to determine if the season’s overall ending will be any different than Sunday’s.

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